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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, March 23rd (All times Eastern)

Columbus Blue Jackets (36-28-6) at New York Islanders (26-35-9), 1 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Columbus Blue Jackets will try to rebound from their second loss in three games, as they aim to get their playoff push back on track in Sunday's road test against the New York Islanders.

Columbus enters Sunday with 78 points, leaving them one point out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Detroit and Washington are tied for the East's second wild card berth with 79 points, but the Red Wings hold the current tiebreaker due to having played two less games than the Capitals.

Detroit is in action today against Minnesota while the Caps are off until Tuesday.

The Blue Jackets were tied with the New York Rangers for third place in the Metropolitan Division heading into Friday's showdown versus the Blueshirts.

However, the Rangers claimed a 3-1 decision in the important battle for playoff positioning to grab a two-point lead over Columbus for the last of the division's three automatic bids to the postseason. The Rangers have since pushed that lead to four points after Saturday's win over New Jersey.

Nick Foligno scored the lone goal in Friday's setback, while Sergei Bobrovsky turned away 29 shots in the Blue Jackets' third loss in five games.

"Obviously, disappointed by the result. I thought our guys, under very tough circumstances, played a hard game," said Columbus head coach Todd Richards. "I thought they were physical, they stood up for each other. It wasn't easy. We were right in it all the way to the end."

The game marked Rick Nash's return to Columbus, as the star winger visited Nationwide Arena for the first time since being dealt to the Rangers nearly two years ago. Nash didn't register a point, but he fired seven shots on goal and also was involved in a memorable scrap with Bobrovsky.

Already showered with boos, Nash, who was selected first overall by Columbus in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, stoked the fans' ire even more late in the second period. The former face of the Blue Jackets drove hard to the crease and the puck went into the net after a collision with Bobrovsky at 17:06. The referee immediately waved off the goal, ruling Nash made incidental contact with the Columbus goalie.

Nash then got to his feet and incited a melee by punching Bobrovsky. Seeking retribution for him going after Bobrovsky, Matt Calvert engaged in fisticuffs with Nash at the start of the third period.

The Blue Jackets enter Sunday having won three straight on the road and the club is 17-15-3 as the visiting team this season.

Columbus has won four straight against the Islanders, including the first two of four encounters in 2013-14. The Metro Division rivals will complete their season series on April 6 in Columbus.

The Jackets also have won two straight on Long Island, although both of those victories came after regulation.

The Islanders are 18 points out of a playoff spot in the East and are playing out the string. New York is just 3-5-1 this month and has lost four of its last six games.

New York hasn't played since Tuesday when Matt Moulson and the visiting Minnesota Wild posted a 6-0 rout at Nassau Coliseum. Moulson scored two goals and added an assist against his former team.

Anders Nilsson gave up all six goals on 22 shots for the Islanders, who lost defenseman Brian Strait to a broken left hand in the second period. Strait will be sidelined indefinitely.

"Nothing is going to come easy for us," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. "We had some pretty good chances. It just seemed like when we gave them a chance, with the skill that they have, it was in the back of our net."

The Islanders also could be without leading scorer Kyle Okposo, fellow forward Michael Grabner and defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky on Sunday. Okposo, who leads New York with 69 points, is dealing with a lower-body injury, while Visnovsky is hampered by an upper-body issue. Both players are questionable for Sunday, while, Grabner expects to miss a fourth straight game with a concussion.

Of course, New York is also without star centerman John Tavares for the remainder of the season after he tore his knee playing for Team Canada at the Sochi Olympics.

"It takes me longer to read the injury report than is has at any other point since I've been here," Capuano said of his hobbled club. "I haven't seen anything like this in a while."

The Isles are just 10-18-8 at the Coliseum this season and are completing a four-game homestand this afternoon.

03/23 10:35:21 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ECU 56
TEMPL 70
Final
NCCU 69
NCAT 58
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
MIN
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
TOR
 
Final
DET 4
ATL 6
 
Final
TAM 2
BAL 3
 
Final
PIT 1
NYY 2
 
Final
HOU 6
PHI 3
 
Final
MIA 1
STL 4
 
Final
SFG 8
CHC 6
 
Final
CIN 3
CLE 9
 
Final
CWS 1
LOS 6
 
Final
ANA 3
MIL 2
 
Final
CHC 2
OAK 2
 
Final
SEA 9
SDP 4
 
Final
KAN 5
TEX 4
 
Final
ARI 4
COL 3
 
Final
WAS 5
NYM 4
 
Final
MIN 9
BOS 8
 
Final
BAL 5
TOR 0
 
1:05pm Today
STL
HOU
 
1:05pm Today
BOS
MIA
 
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TAM
MIN
 
1:05pm Today
PHI
NYY
 
1:05pm Today
ATL
WAS
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
BAL
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
DET
 
3:05pm Today
SDP
CWS
 
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CHC
CIN
 
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CLE
KAN
 
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MIL
LOS
 
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TEX
SFG
 
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LOS
SEA
 
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ANA
COL
 
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ARI
OAK
 
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NYY
PIT
 
Final
CHI 108
OKC 105
Final
POR 94
DAL 75
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IND
CHI
 
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WAS
MIA
 
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ORL
SAC
 
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CHA
TOR
 
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PHI
UTA
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
CLE
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
BOS
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
DET
 
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MEM
LAL
 
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BRK
PHO
 
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
DEN
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
DAL
 
Final
MDES 89
MRGST 76
 
Final
SIENA 71
NIAG 54
Final
LEH 62
AMER 68
 
Final
SCAR 74
ARK 78
Final
LAF 89
BU 64
 
Final
PETE 63
FAIR 33
Final
BUCK 90
HC 83
 
Final
UNF 71
LIP 57
 
Final
TENNM 65
MORE 76
Final
COL 72
NAVY 62
 
Final
ECU 56
TEMPL 70
Final
FATL 62
UAB 59
Final
FLGC 62
USCU 63
 
Final
CHAR 84
WKENT 88
Final
MINN 63
WISC 76
Final
MIZST 48
SILL 55
Final
COPST 92
DELST 104
 
Final
FIU 59
MTST 54
Final
HAMP 69
NORST 80
 
Final
NCCU 69
NCAT 58
 
Final
COOK 72
SCST 62
 
Final
APP 67
TXST 64
 
Final
GSOUT 76
TXARL 64
 
Final
LAMON 50
UGST 58
 
Final
ODU 67
MARS 50
Final
TXSA 74
RICE 76
Final
FAM 64
SAV 57
 
Final
LATU 72
SMISS 61
Final
JST 72
ALAAM 54
 
Final
GRAM 46
ALAST 78
 
Final
TXSOU 94
ALCOR 73
 
Final
NICST 77
CARK 70
 
Final
TAMCC 85
HOUB 72
 
Final
NARZ 58
PORST 51
 
Final
LAM 61
SHSU 67
 
Final
ARKST 76
SALA 81
 
Final
PVU 73
SOUTH 77
 
Final
LALAF 75
ARKLR 69
 
Final
NO 85
SELA 79
 
Final
INCWORD 64
ABCHRIST 52
 
9:00pm Thursday
MVSU 0
ARKPB 0
 
Final
ARZ 99
CAL 60
Final
WASH 47
COL 64
Final
WEBER 74
IDAHO 63
 
Final
UCONN 53
MEM 54
Final
UTEP 83
UNT 60
Final
STEPH 92
NWST 66
 
Final
SUTAH 69
SACST 65
 
Final
DAVID 82
VCU 55
Final
IDST 81
EWASH 85
 
Final
QUIN 74
MAR 80
Final
BEL 97
EILL 64
Final
DRAK 50
BRAD 52
Final
LBSU 69
CSNO 58
 
Final
UCI 68
CSFU 62
 
Final
UCD 61
UCR 59
 
Final
ARST 67
STAN 62
Final
WASU 59
UTAH 67
12:00pm Today
MVSU
ARKPB
 
12:00pm Today
CSOU
LONG
 
1:05pm Today
WICHS
SILL
 
2:00pm Today
RAD
WINT
 
3:35pm Today
ILLST
EVAN
 
6:00pm Tonight
HIGH
GWEBB
 
6:00pm Tonight
UNCG
SAMF
 
6:00pm Tonight
ELON
TOWS
 
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
AKR
 
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BUF
BGU
 
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DART
BRO
 
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WMICH
CMICH
 
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PENN
CLMB
 
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PRIN
CORN
 
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OU
ILLCH
 
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OHIO
UMO
 
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BST
NILL
 
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EMICH
TOL
 
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NIOWA
BRAD
 
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MURST
MORE
 
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CCAR
UNCA
 
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HARV
YALE
 
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DREX
COC
 
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CITA
FUR
 
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USF
PAC
 
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BAY
TTU
 
9:30pm Tonight
EKENT
BEL
 
9:30pm Tonight
CLST
DET
 
9:35pm Tonight
INDST
LOYC
 
11:30pm Tonight
SCU
LMU
 
Final
BOS 3
CAL 4
Final
WAS 1
MIN 2
Final
PHI 3
STL 1
Final
FLA 3
DAL 4
Final
TAM 4
TOR 2
Final
NAS 3
NYI 4
Final
ARI 3
VAN 2
Final
LOS 4
MON 3
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NJD
CLB
 
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CAR
MIN
 
7:30pm Tonight
OTT
BUF
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
CAL
 
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
EDM
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
PIT